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More stories about Features

  • Rebuilding the Gulf: Back to the Future

    The tremendous surge from Hurricane Katrina that washed across Lake Pontchartrain and swamped New Orleans also took a serious toll on the houses in Mandeville, La. Ted Cushman, who traveled to the region to lend a hand in the recovery, was there to document two historic buildings that stood tall...

  • Selecting Windows for Coastal Homes

    All windows worth buying should carry a valid warranty and meet basic structural and thermal performance measures. On the coast, however, strong winds and blowing rain make it imperative that windows meet even more stringent performance requirements. Editor Clayton DeKorne sorts through the...

  • Details: Airtight Framing

    Building scientists Jeff and John Tooley have been a committed father-and-son team diagnosing homes for moisture and energy problems for decades. In their combined experience, they have come to understand that the difference between a home that works and one laden with moisture and energy problems...

  • Not Just a Pretty Face

    While curb appeal still holds some cachet with buyers, it's what lies beneath a beautiful facade that really counts in the long run. Ted Cushman reports on the hard-won experience of Smokey Saduk, who has pioneered the use of low-maintenance synthetics backed by an impeccable weather barrier to...

  • Case Study:Ten Years After

    Architect and home builder Andrew DiGiammo takes a stroll through one of his earliest beachfront homes and candidly tells what worked and what didn't about the product and material choices he made

  • Defeating the Wind

    Wherever wind speeds are likely to reach over 110 mph, coastal codes are now requiring an engineering analysis of the plans. In addition to shear, sliding, and overturning forces, the wind imparts intense uplift pressures. Ted Cushman examines how one Long Island architect has managed to meet the...

  • Septic Systems for Coastal Homes

    Along the shore and intercoastal waterways, all sites are "difficult," requiring extra treatment for wastewater. Charles Wardell examines some of the more successful alternative treatment options that are being used by home builders up and down the coast.

  • Chilling at Home

    Ductless mini-splits offer efficient cooling and outstanding dehumidification, making them an increasingly popular option for coastal homes. Charles Wardell investigates the pros and cons, including cost, cooling performance, ease of installation, efficiency, corrosion resistance, and more.

  • Site Report: Working with PVC Trim

    Plastic trim is maintenance-free, even in unforgiving coastal climates ... assuming it’s installed correctly. Project Manager Jeff Kent explains how to achieve durable exterior details, and vows that once you learn how to use PVC, you’ll never go back to wood.

  • Keeping Termites at Bay

    Coastal homes are prime targets for termite destruction. While builders and remodelers aren’t exterminators, they do play a key role in long-term termite control. Mitch Buroker reviews traditional deterrents and control strategies, and gives the scoop on new termite barriers, bait systems, and...